Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  436 / 450 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 436 / 450 Next Page
Page Background






Filipino can hardly be innocent. In McCullers’s many works, she is

interested in black-white relations in the South; however, this time

her interest in an Asian rather than an African American servant

indicates her cosmopolitan concern and her awareness of the rise

of the United States as a world power. Not merely a Southern

writer, McCullers, aware of American colonialism in the Pacific

between 1898 and 1945, creates this fascinating character Anacleto

to allow her to critically engage the interrelations of nationalism

and sexuality. The presence of a Filipino in the incipiency of

America’s nation building discloses the empire’s ambivalence and

menaces the authoritative discourse of colonialism that entails an

investment in heterosexual patriarchy as the signature of

hegemonic whiteness.

Depicted as a perpetual boy who looks supernaturally ageless,

Anacleto exhibits a cert -ain stage of arrested development and, in

a symbolic sense, can never obtain full citizenship insofar as the

idea of citizenship is based on the white norm of heterosexuality.

In the eyes of U.S. imperialism, the Philippines constituted a queer

nation, in the sense that it could not be articulated by dominant

definitions of nationhood as the product of militarism and virility.

As a diasporic queer of color shamed every day for being a

subjugated and racialized subject, Anacleto, however, refuses to

lose his self-respect. He delights in embracing his role as a queen to

provoke the men around him. His artistic sensitivity and

involvement with high culture set him apart from the vulgar,

masculine society around him. Although Michael Bronski argues

that gay men’s involvement with high culture (opera, ballet,

painting, literature) is a way to gain some acceptance by the

mainstream society, we cannot deny the fact that culture is

attractive for queers because it provides a way out of the dreary,

heteronormative reality (Bronski, 1984: 12). Culture is beautiful,

sensuous, and fun; it, as David Halperin puts it, affords gay men

“an imaginative point of entry into a queer utopia, somewhere

over the rainbow, which is not entirely of their own making”